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Farmers Market Vendors See Weather-Related Produce Shortages

Olivia Miltner
Katie Montgomery buys cucumbers and bell peppers from Harrold and Kelly Dillon's stand at the Pearl Market.

Extreme weather is limiting crops in Ohio and that's curtailing the offerings at local farmers markets.

Harold Dillon and his wife Kelly sell produce like green tomatoes from their Shady Grove Farm at various farmers markets in Columbus.

At the Pearl Market in downtown Columbus on Tuesday, he has about half the amount of inventory than he would normally have at this time of year. He says that's because most crops are three to four weeks behind schedule.

“We’re just starting to see some peppers and eggplant and normally we would be loaded with that stuff,” Dillon said. “It was a very wet, cold spring and then we went into extreme heat, it’s just been one extreme from the next.”

Usually he’d have okra and more beans, summer squash and lettuce, but the fluctuation between soggy and sweltering has stunted those crops.

Dillons' sales have slowed, and other farmers around Ohio are also facing weather-related shortages this year. Dillion's hoping for an inch of rain every week until September to offset his losses.

“And I don’t see that happening,” Dillon said. “We just have to be ready to adapt on the fly.”